The Global Health team at the Gates Foundation wanted to emphasize the great potential for improved data to transform global health and development. Together, we developed a narrative that could illustrate a viable future state where new and emerging technologies, combined with a shift in data sharing behavior, bring better information to global health decision-makers everywhere.
The goal of this work was to help make data quality and stewardship a more prominent topic for policy-makers, product developers, researchers, and other actors throughout the global health community. The 2015 Global Partners Forum, an international convening of more than 1,200 prominent representatives from the global health sector, emerged as the perfect venue to present materials.
The video below, narrated by Trevor Mundel, BMGF President of Global Health, illustrates how improving the quality, timeliness, and sharing of data can inform better decision-making and strengthen health systems at all levels.
Envisioning a future state requires a deep understanding of the present. Our research included interviewing experts in epidemiology, surveillance, data architecture, and health systems. We workshopped ideas and uncovered data initiatives that were having a positive impact on health outcomes and explored how this complex space was likely to evolve.
The resulting landscape analysis catalogued today’s challenges and presented stepping stones towards a favorable future state.
Data was the real protagonist in this story and we needed a visual convention for portraying health data in a range of settings and situations. We wanted to focus both on the interactions of data between people and health workers in their communities and on the flows of data that moved amongst providers, governments, researchers, and the myriad other players that contribute to and influenced healthcare systems.
We combined visualizations with photography to underscore the real people who were generating and consuming data within this ecosystem.